Last week's storm has animal rescue group looking for housing
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
When the storm damaged the Henry County Veterinary Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, the damage also affected Henry County Animal Rescue.
“It was hard to begin with, not having an actual shelter here, now it is just making it even harder. We are trying everything we can,” said Gary Ruth of Henry County Animal Rescue.
According to Ruth, Dr. Richard Howie was allowing the rescue to house some animals at the veterinary hospital, but thanks to the storm damage to the kennels at the veterinary hospital, the option is no longer there.
“Because all of our foster homes are full, he was allowing us to keep dogs there. Now I have to try and find even more foster homes. It has put us in a bind,” said Ruth.
Luckily for the rescue, none of the dogs at the veterinary hospital were hurt during the storm. “There were a few dogs that were out there. The wind lifted the roof and the walls up and they blew over backwards. No debris whatsoever fell on the kennels. None of the dogs were injured, just scared,” said Ruth.
Ruth said the animal rescue isn’t the only organization that is suffering from the storm. Until the kennels get rebuilt, there will also be no city pound unless another site can be found.
“We are trying to fine a site or some type of place that someone would let us lease and put kennels into to take over the city pound, because right now the pound is closed indefinitely. The rescue is trying to find a building we can lease to help with the stray animals to help the city and the county,” said Ruth.
Since the storm, Ruth has received several more calls from people reporting stray animals running around.
“People are calling to report dogs running around loose, and a few of them have offered to keep them in their backyards until I can find somewhere for them, and that helps a little,” said Ruth. “We are trying to step in and find a place we can temporarily lease to help out the situation. Otherwise we are just going to have animals running everywhere around town.”
Ruth said it is hard to estimate the exact number of animals displaced by the storm, but that there has definitely been an increase of calls regarding stray animals since the storm.
“It is hard to estimate a number of animals. Just in the phone calls that I have had, and the city has even called me asking if we can do anything to help them, there has probably been at least a extra calls that have come to me. That doesn’t include calls that have come in to the city or the county,” said Ruth.
Ruth noted that when animal foster homes were all filled about a year ago, the Henry County Veterinary Hospital has allowed the rescue to house animals there.
“We’ve been keeping animals out there for the past year, but I’d say that the last six months we have had at least one animal out there all the time. As soon as we were able to find a home for one animal, there would be another one coming in to replace that one,” said Ruth.
For more information about the Henry County Animal Rescue, or how to help, contact Ruth at 319-537-0200 or 319-537-0217.